A New Chapter Begins

I hear the Chicago Bulls Theme Song play through the thick walls of the First Interstate Bank Center. Suddenly, I hear hundreds of voices all scream in unison.

Hmm…I wonder who just got elected

I don’t know what name was just announced since my ears can’t quite pick up the words, but I do know the 2019-2020 Oregon FFA Vice President is sprinting full speed towards the room I’m sitting in. A minute later, through my tears, I see my teammate Riley Davis bust through the door to the room I’m in. Screaming and tackling Riley, only one thought is in my head.

It’s going to be a great year

That thought was one that went through my head four more times over the course of the next half hour. Deidre, Keegan, Olivia, and finally Ellie eventually made it to the room. (Side note: the holding room for State Officer-elects is a decently long distance from the main stage, and we all sympathize with Deidre’s joke that the hardest part of running for State Office is literally the run at the end)

As we all finally sat down at a table together, the 2019-2020 State Officer Team was assembled. At the moment, though we didn’t know each other all that well, what we did know was that we were excited to better an organization whose impact on each of our lives cannot be overstated.

Deidre comes from a town so far away from civilization that she has to drive more than six hours to arrive at most state FFA events and almost four hours to the nearest airport. Ellie is a master sheep showman, when I can count the number of sheep I’ve physically touched on one hand. Olivia is incredibly organized and constantly turns items in early, while my room is rarely in order and my work is often turned in the day it’s due. Keegan is a world traveler, having spent significant time in Australia on a sheep farm where he learned they say “Fat Income” about almost everything. Riley is batman. Well, maybe not actually, but he is a spray paint art and card trick master.

We are all very different

Though it is tempting for any of us as leaders to wish we were surrounded by a team exactly like us, I am confident that these differences between us will be our strength this coming year. We will bring our unique perspectives, backgrounds, and values together with one mission that we will accomplish at all costs: Continue a legacy by impacting as many lives as possible.

During state convention, I made a remark about this new chapter, saying “A page is turning for Oregon FFA. Right now, we have the opportunity of a new chapter and a blank page, and the pen is in our hand.” During state convention, Oregon FFA asked us to join them for this wild ride on an adventure. In response, we are filled with joy as a state officer team while we call shotgun and buckle up for the adventure ahead. We have just begun to join in with Oregon FFA members as we collectively begin work on writing a truly amazing story for ourselves this coming year. Even now in our first days as state officers, the potential we see humbles us, fills us with gratitude, and excites us beyond belief.

With eager anticipation,

Josiah Cruikshank
Oregon FFA State President685464